Englishness Identified: Manners and Character 1650-1850

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byPaul Langford

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In the seventeenth century the English were often depicted as a nation of barbarians, fanatics, and king-killers. Two hundred years later they were more likely to be seen as the triumphant possessors of a unique political stability, vigorous industrial revolution, and a world-wide empire.These may have been British achievements; but the virtues which brought about this transformation tended to be perceived as specifically English. Ideas of what constituted Englishness changed from a stock notion of waywardness and unpredictability to one of discipline and dedication. The evolutionof the so-called national character - today once more the subject of scrutiny and debate - is traced through the impressions and analyses of foreign observers, and related to English ambitions and anxieties during a period of intense change.

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In the seventeenth century the English were often depicted as a nation of barbarians, fanatics, and king-killers. Two hundred years later they were more likely to be seen as the triumphant possessors of a unique political stability, vigorous industrial revolution, and a world-wide empire.These may have been British achievements; but t...

Paul Langford is Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, and has been a Professor of Modern History at Oxford since 1996.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:402 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.87 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199246408

ISBN - 13:9780199246403

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Englishness1. Energy - Industry - Locomotion - Physicality - Melancholy - Gravity - Order - Practicality2. Candour - Plainness - Openness - Separateness - Domesticity - Honesty - Humbug3. Decency - Barbarity - Fair Play - Propriety - Modesty4. Taciturnity - Silence - Conversation - Oratory - Clubbability5. Reserve - Xenophobia - Hospitality - Familiarity - Intimacy - Exclusiveness6. Eccentricity - Liberty - Informality - Originality - Character - EccentricsConclusion: Manners and CharacterIndex

Editorial Reviews

`This wonderful book brings such detail and generalisation together by being organised not chronologivally but by 'six major supposed traits of Englishness': Energy, Candour, Decency, Taciturnity, Reserve, Eccentricity. Langford has read widely and unpredictably, especially in accounts thathave never been translated into English. This has allowed him to produce a book that is, in one respect, brilliantly un-English: it is fascinated by what foreigners have thought.'The Guardian